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muck +‎ worm


muckworm (plural muckworms)

  1. A larva living in mud or manure.
  2. Someone who gathers wealth through overwork of employees and sordid means; a miser.
    • 1748, James Thomson, “Canto I”, in The Castle of Indolence[1]:
      Here you a muckworm of the town might see, / At his dull desk, amid his legers stall'd, / Eat up with carking care and penurie; / Most like to carcase parch'd on gallows-tree.
    • 1840, Douglas William Jerrold, “The Money-Lender”, in The Writings of Douglas Jerrold[2], published 1853, page 279:
      We have painted one Money-Lender — not the mere sordid muckworm of a century ago, but the man-eater of the present day.
    • 1993, Marlene Suson, The Lily and the Hawk[3], page 158:
      Perhaps it is far too expensive for a notorious muckworm like you! I, however, am more generous.